by Živilė Putnienė
Almost half a hundred of impressive The Tall Ships Races sailing ships from fourteen countries have already chosen Klaipėda as their direction. On June 27-30, Klaipėda, the host port of the tall ships, this time will become the port of start as well. Although the registration of ships will end in May, among the newly registered ships is the Dar Mlodziezy (Polish for Gift of Youth), the largest Polish sailing ship, which will symbolically decorate the banks of Klaipėda, the European Youth Capital 2021. During The Tall Ships Races, as many as 30 selected young people will embark on an unforgettable journey on the sailing boats taking part in the race.
45 ships have already set their course to Klaipėda
The magnificent sailing ships that adorned Klaipėda four years ago are returning. Starting with the largest, with a length of more than 100 meters, ending with the very small, class D, ships will be moored at the quays of the Cruise Ship Terminal and the city of Memel, in the Castle Port, and on the Dangė River.
Among the registered ships, five are categorized by class A, 13 are class B, 13 are class C, and 14 are class D. A large number of ships has visited Klaipėda several times already. Class A ships that will call here for the first time are Fryderyk Chopin, Pogoria, Morgenster, and Tre Kronor Af Stockholm. Among the brightest and most anticipated ships is the newly registered Polish giant Dar Mlodziezy, with a length of 108.81 m, a height of 50.22 m and a draft of 7 m. The ship is a regular participant in various regattas.
Among the new ships not yet seen in Klaipėda is the Atyla, the Class B ship from Spain. Length of the ship is 25.00 m, height – 26.50 m.
“The Tall Ships Races is not only one of the most anticipated events, but also one bringing a lot of positive emotions. Our goal is therefore to make the event as close as possible to every Klaipėda resident or city guest, taking into account all safety recommendations. It would be unfair not to see the returning sailboats after waiting them for four years. Last week, we interacted with representatives of the National Public Health Center, presented our security scenarios and will do our best to make the event go smooth, safe and visible,” says Violeta Ulevičienė, Project Manager at The Tall Ship Races.
According to the organizers of the event, the registration of two of the world’s largest sailing ships, the Mexican ship Gloria and the Russian ship Mir, is currently awaited.
The format of many of the statutory segments of The Tall Ships Races, such as marching of the participants, opening ceremony, sailing parade, sports competitions, will be clear only in June, when the pandemic situation in the country will be assessed. From Klaipėda, large sailing ships will sail to Turku (Finland), Tallinn (Estonia), Mariehamn (Åland Islands) and finish in Szczecin (Poland).
Waiting for trainee application forms
As many as 30 selected candidates from Klaipėda will go on an insightful trip by the Baltic Sea. All they have to do is fill in the sailing trainee application form. Passing on the experience of sailing to young people and fostering maritime culture are one of the most important goals of the Sail Training International, which is organizing The Tall Ships Races, and the sailing ships participating in the race.
“Winning the sailing race with the Brabander training sailing ship and its captain Valdemaras Vizbaras was an extraordinary experience. Since I mastered everything very quickly and had no seasick, we continued to communicate after the first trip, we sailed into the sea more than once, and apparently it has been well said that once you pop, the fun doesn’t stop! I think participating in similar projects is a kind of turning point, which makes you different and makes you look at many ordinary things differently. The sea and teamwork form a personality, so for anyone who doubts whether to fill in the application form or not, I dare say – do not hesitate. This is your chance, which can yield a lot,” says Vytautas Kerdokas, who has become a sailing trainee in 2015.
The selection is open to young people aged between 15 and 25 who wish to become members of an international crew. Sailing experience is not required to participate in the selection. For the selected young people, the trip by sailboat from Klaipėda to Turku will be paid for by Klaipėda City Municipality. The cost of the entire trip for one trainee varies from 800 to 1000 euros. Filled in application forms are accepted until May 1 inclusively.
The application form is available at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdI_zjmgFngyDv9ucB8xSohieRPIsVJBSZYQXHpIKAanz4ywA/viewform